A public awareness event organised by the Health Protection Unit (HPRU).
The unit is one of 13 centres funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and Public Health England (PHE). Its role is to investigate the effects of exposure to chemicals or radiation on peoples’ health and then to find responses to keep us all safer.
The day gave people an opportunity to find out about the latest results from the project and to advise on how to share the results with the public and to help to design the next stages of the research. To give the maximum opportunity to contribute, introductory presentation were brief.
Dr Liz Ainsbury, Public Health England talked about the effects of exposure to medical radiation on health; Dr Simon Wilkinson, Newcastle University on the effect of sunlight on the health and behaviour of skin; Professor Matthew Wright Newcastle University described investigations into possible causes of the liver disease Primary Biliary Cholangitis; and Professor Simon Thomas, and Dr Peter Hanson Newcastle University covered the effects of drugs and chemicals on the human brain.
Everyone then moved to discuss aspects of their work in small groups which became very animated as people gave their opinions and advice.
Feedback was excellent and we hope to organise another event next year to seek further advice as the project draws to a close.
Special thanks to all who came to the event including the researchers, one of whom had travelled from London that morning.